Surprise! The Entire Enterprise Of Mummery Is Built On Racism And Ignorance

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Not a metaphor. Actually happening. Still.

FOR YEARS, we have been saying this, to the point where we even bored ourselves: Mummery is 100% backward bullshit, an annual celebration of the white man and his famous burden that has no place in the modern, better iteration of this city. Sired in an age where the powers that be reasoned that minstrelsy practiced en masse was a good enough bread and circus to remind the underclass that at least there was a hierarchy to these things, the Philadelphia New Year’s Day Parade metastasized into a Tradition. And though the mantle of that tradition suggests that, over the years, the parade has become a more genteel, family-oriented thing, scratch the surface this year or any other and you can quickly find the poisonous, poisonous heart of the Mummers.

And just when everyone was getting bored of The Argument, it just so happened that yesterday, the Mummers got back to their roots, so to speak. The Ferko String Band placed fifth in the String Band competition with a routine that swapped out blackface for redface (complete with a rendition of “Mammy” and visual echos of Sambo), and the Venetian Club shat out some thing that played fast and loose with anything to do with “Indians.” And as I write this, late on New Year’s Day’s night, I’m sure Two Street is ablaze with n-bombs, f-bombs, and enough piss to fill up the Linc to make a hoagie and pretzel soup that would keep us warm all winter.

Oh don’t be such a sourpuss, you say, it’s such a unique part of our identity as a city! Or my personal favorite, which is when people talk about how authentic it all is. To which I say: Well, yeah, the worst things within us usually are. Which is why it takes Herculean efforts to stamp them out. But as a city, we’ve done nothing but encourage this nasty little survivor of an age we kid ourselves into thinking is bygone.

Over recent years, like everything else around here, the New Year’s Day Parade — and with it, the entire enterprise of mummery — has felt a financial crunch. It’s been on the ropes financially and in terms of cultural relevance. As a new city continues to sprout up around us on the ashes of the old one, it gets harder each year to look at the Mummers and say, yes, that represents me. I’ve lived here my entire life and I still can’t do it. It should be dead by now. It should have faded away (or at least to Northeast Philly or South Jersey where, let’s be honest, it belongs) decades ago. And yet, no politician or city official would dare even the appearance of pulling the plug on this thing. After all, let us not forget: The dumb fucking mooks in red face are the same Philly Democratic Machine Union Goons working the polls each and every Election Day. Hell, some of them even live here.

That the social and economic force that is the Transplantadelphians haven’t been more vocal about What We Talk About When We Talk About The Mummers is a disappointment, too. Instead, we’ve got an awful lot of people obsessed with “authenticity” who believe that you can treat this shit like an art project and change the tenor of the parade; alongside that is an even more distressing phenomenon — the sociocultural tourism (or, let’s call it what it is, “slumming”) that now attends every Two Street celebration. Yuck. Many otherwise presumably “enlightened” folks among us have turned themselves into living parsers of the argument that goes, “But heyyyyyy, they’re not all like this… see?”

Of course they’re not — they being the many Mummers out there, I’m sure, who also cringed a lot yesterday — but history is not written by the people who stand on the sidelines and say, “Oh, dear, I am not very comfortable with that.” History, unfortunately, is mostly written by knuckle-dragging racist, homophobic, cowardly pieces of shit who do whatever the fuck they want until, finally, someone says no.

Bearing that in mind, the Mummers gave the people of Philadelphia a wonderful gift yesterday: Something to finally, unequivocally, say no to. When something is as wrapped up in cheesesteak wrapper and sold to us, year in and year out, as Us, as our own civic identity, it’s easy to say, “Well, okay, I suppose, I suppose there’s no harm in letting it ride and fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” But what went down yesterday was no joke. It was ugly. It was a heart of darkness many of us thought we’d mostly passed through. And it does not represent who we are. Not anymore, and not to whatever extent it ever did. Again: It does not represent who we are.

So let us go then, you and I, howling into this new year. Too often, we Philadelphians can coddle ourselves with the cold comfort of knowing that bigotry is largely owned by the hick provinces of Pennsyltucky and places to the south of it that are even more unmentionable. But let’s not kid ourselves. It lives here among us, only our redneck is your otherwise kind-of-tolerable hoagiemouth neighbor. And lest you just think his prejudice is isolated, don’t be so sure: You should hear what he says about you when you’re not in the room.

— Joey Sweeney

[Photo courtesy a bemused reader]

124 Responses to “Surprise! The Entire Enterprise Of Mummery Is Built On Racism And Ignorance”

  1. kyle m Says:

    yet still no shootings, no rapes, just a bunch of guys who are most likely of middle working class, who aren’t writing the laws of this country. who aren’t determining where taxes are being distributed, yet, as you even said yourself, who come under some type of critique from armchair pseduo-intellectuals and ummmm.. armchair “bloggers” like philebrity. What a sign of the times when something that working class people enjoy can come under the critique of people who are themselves just middlemen to the upper class and its more “refined” taste… just like unions and education…. yeh, the mummers may be crass, but realize who’s in control of the narrative that it puts forth. you think its black and white, and that mummers are racist and yadda yadda and frankly you just don’t get it. Anyone who attempts to point out or infer that an issue is simply black and white has little in no redeemable intellect. Last year I watched tons of Mexican Americans on the parade route having a great time, this year I watched my Asian American neighbors doing the same. I watched a few African Americans, who I personally know, be a part of the parade. But hey, you’ll be happy though when it does disappear and New Years day is nothing more than you and your white breed yuppy twat friends heading out to get a case of the latest craft beer thats all hyped up this season; while being sure that anything that falls outside of your highly “refined” (well at least refined underneath the guise of your bourgeois interlocutors or pitchfork or vice or the latest hipster zine) taste stays away from you…. but hey lets be honest what it boils down to is that the men who partake in that sort of rough guy stuff can in all honesty kick your ass and have for most of your life. Take back your comfort zone of superiority, of pseudo intellectualism, of hypersensitive race relations, of locating something that has no tangible racial inequality by-products other than that more white people are involved in it than black folks… oh snap guess your next post will be on the NBA or NFL. but thats right you don’t report, and your posts are long enough to be considered writing. you “blog”. You don’t write for Philadelphia you write for hipsterdelphia. You constantly fail to see the nuances that can exist within a “walk soft, carry a big stick” readership because you yourself do not abide. this is why no one comments on almost every post on this website. Wake up in 2013.

  2. Tim McCloskey Says:

    I believe the expression is “speak softly” and carry a big stick.

  3. NateFried Says:

    I’m confused why we should get rid of it? what was so racist yesterday? was it people dressed like native Americans? playing a satire of people getting them confused with Indians in centers? I didn’t see it but sounds harmless. and why should this new city hate the parade? I’ve been living here for ten years and grew up twenty minutes away in Jersey.never once have I seen it, but I know people love it and love participating in it. just because I don’t identify with it, doesn’t mean I should vote to get rid of it.

  4. rk Says:

    Seriously? “dressed like native Americans?” That’s what you’d describe it as? The many ways it was disrespectful of native Americans (tomahawk chop?!? the horse as part of the outfit?) and makes joking about not knowing the difference between Asian Indians and Native Americans an acceptable part of today’s culture? AND a call center joke? all by white people?

    not cool.

  5. rk Says:

    JUST LEAVE OUT THE BLACKFACE AND RACIALLY INSENSITIVE SHIT AND IT’D BE FINE. oh wait, you started your post with racial insensitivity, masquerading as concern over when we all know you were imagining a black man as you wrote about rape and gang shootings. And that’s before we get to the “i know some black people too!” defense. awesome work combining those into one post.

  6. Allan Smithee Says:

    re: You don’t write for Philadelphia you write for hipsterdelphia. You constantly fail to see the nuances that can exist within a “walk soft, carry a big stick” readership

    Your frustration isn’t limited to hispsterdelphia. It seems to be nation-wide. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Joseph J. Lhota, and their supporters also have the same problem as you:

    “The city is not on its heels right now,” he said. “There is none of that now. Try to tell hipster Brooklyn that the city is in trouble.”

    NY Times: Giuliani Ready to Use Muscle to Put His Man in Mayor’s Seat

  7. Erica Matos Says:

    You know how upset you are by this article? How targeted and wronged you feel? How misunderstood? How pigeonholed and stripped of your freedom to just be yourself? How belittled? Now, imagine hundreds of people parading these opinions around the streets and rubbing your face in it. That’s how people like me, who are of an ethnic minority, feel when we see antics such as these in the Mummers Parade. It’s not “pseudo-intellectualism” to treat others with basic human dignity.

  8. Nick Oristian Says:

    Personally I find it interesting that everybody complaining about racism in the Mummer’s Parade on social media are, oddly enough, white, middle class citizens. I have yet to see a single post from any of the groups covered. I am sure a few would be concerned or have complaints but so far I haven’t heard any. To be honest I think people are going overboard going after the mummers. Simple question: What is more racist? A string band who competes one day a year or the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, and Washington Redskins who wear racial characatures on their uniforms for 12 months of the year?

  9. Erica Matos Says:

    Just to set the record straight, Nick, I’m very offended, and I’m neither white nor middle class. It’s not the fact that the Mummers exist or what viewpoints they promote, which, while appalling, are none of my business; it’s that they succeed in rallying a huge number of people in the city to support these insensitive, inaccurate portrayals, thus also succeeding in excluding a large segment of Philadelphia residents through racism. And are we really going to talk about degrees of racism? Because there is no such thing.

  10. steveeboy Says:

    just to be clear:

    THIS is what the ” visual echos” of black face performance looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_EDvOd0nEQ

    sorry, I found the wench brigade wearing rasta get ups– with actual black face and dreads– far worse than Ferko.

    And when did an Indian costume become forbidden?

    And why is it a bigger problem if the Indian costume includes a horse as part of it?

    and was nobody offended by the various “hillbilly” themes?

    Or are those okay because they mock poor whites from the mountains?

  11. Milagros Lopez Says:

    I’m sorry but some white hipster cannot be the voice of a minority group. Why are YOU so incredibly offended by this tradition? I am a black hispanic female and I do not find any of it offensive. If anything it is silly, inaccurate and a little strange. If other groups WANTED to participate I am sure they would. And if other groups found it offensive they would say something. It is not up to young white “educated” people to come to our rescue. If anything it is truly offensive is that you would ASSUME that after generations of prejudice and struggle minorities would be offended by outdated and inaccurate attempts at poking fun at us. Let them look like fools. It is only hurting their image and not ours. All this article does is reopen the old wounds true racism has caused. Let it be a tradition everyone can share. If you call it a racist display it will only discourage other groups from performing.

  12. rk Says:

    umm…i find it amusing when one person decides that because they can disqualify others from being the “the voice of a minority group,” that they then can become “the voice of a minority group” themselves.

    Nah, some might see past that history. cool. Others don’t. Nor should they be demanded to just because you’ve decided you don’t care…and, i’d gather, don’t know much about philly’s history and mummery history.

  13. rk Says:

    i thought the rasta was terrible too. but when did it become ok to offend just because others are even worse?

    hillbilly is bad, but it doesn’t evoke a racial history of hatred and violence and denial of humanity like blackface and that native american/indian costumes do.

  14. Lovetron Says:

    You want to see real racism in action? Real class-based discrimination and bias? Go take a walk down Girard Avenue, or in “Bella Vista,” or in any of the other parts of our city that have been gentrified by people who think that they have a God-given right to ride their single speed anywhere, who love to crochet fire hydrants and telephone poles, and who think that their urban homesteading isn’t leading to poor and overwhelmingly-brown people being pushed to worse neighborhoods with worse schools.

    To pretend like the people who don facepaint on New Year’s Day are somehow running things lets all of us know that you don’t know anything about Mummers. Yeah, the union carpenter or the suburban electrician or any of the other white- and blue-collar folks that make up the comics or the fancy brigades are really operating the levers of power.

    Is the parade perfect? No. Should things like blackface be tolerated? Not really, but I would argue that it is tongue-in-cheek.

    But no Philly-come-lately hipster is going to school us on what it means to be local. Now go back to posting on your Macbook pro somewhere in Northern Liberties or Fishtown or Queen Village and think about exactly who lived or worked 20 years ago in the place where you enjoy your latte and lay your head at night.

  15. NateFried Says:

    Hey man, as I said in my first post, I didn’t see the actual video (until about 5 minutes ago). I was asking for a better description of what was racist yesterday. Sweeney’s article doesn’t explain anything about the skit, and the news articles only say they were dressed like native americans and indians.

    But still, white people can’t dress like other races? Is that your point? Better talk to the people in charge of Halloween then… cause the committee is totally letting white people dress as ninjas, native americans, and princesses. They are even letting asian boys and girls dress as cowboys! NOOOOO!!! And Native Americans never rode horses?That’s a problem? Tomahawk chop? Native Americans don’t use Tomahawks? Pretty sure that was a common tool and weapon throughout north america. Next time someone dresses like a Samurai in a dance ensemble, I’ll be sure to tell them they can’t pretend to slash with a sword in any of their movements… cause its racist to do that. Especially if they are white.

    Now joking about people getting Indians and Native Americans confused, sure… there might be a problem with that, but it was their way of making the point that we should take jobs back from Indians and give it to Americans. Poorly done, but I wouldn’t say it was offensive. I’m not sure how I feel about that. And what’s wrong with depicting call centers in India? That’s a HUGE industry over there. And its a lot from american companies! The whole purpose of the piece was to say we should bring jobs back to American and stop outsourcing. Native Americans riding horses? No big deal. Integrating a tamahawk chop into the dance moves? Don’t really see a problem (maybe I am wrong though?) Depicting call centers in India as outsourced jobs that should be in the U.S.? Nope, not a problem. White people performing this skit? Seriously… get over it. As long as it is not insulting and mocking another culture, white people can dress as other cultures and vice versa.

    As for the other Native American themed performance… well, that was a conglomeration of 4 different tribes. They did their research from what I was told, and tried to combine three histories into one string band piece.

    As for the video just posted of “black face”… not sure what they were going for. Looks pretty bad, BUT… All I can see from my tiny screen that resembles black face is the white around their mouths. Albeit, circus clowns have the same makeup. Do you think its black face because it is a theme of Jazz maybe? Is it really black face?

    Argue only the valid points, and leave the rest if you want to explain your stance.

  16. NateFried Says:

    So… watching the ferko stringband closer… that really doesn’t look good. I really think there is no basis on the Native American themed skits being racist, but the ferko seems a kinda bad… not that they were portraying black face in the awful way it was depicted back in the day. They were paying tribute… but they still seem to be doing the black face thing. And if black face without bad stereotypes offends just as much as blackface WITH bad stereotypes, then I can’t really say anyone should not be offended. EEK! I’d say its not a racist performance, but it would definitely be marked up as racially intolerant. STILL, just cause one skit had something that may be offensive, doesn’t mean the WHOLE MUMMERS tradition is racist and should be ended. That whole argument from Philebrity’s initial post just doesn’t make any sense. Live long Mummers! But try to make sure your review board does its job not to let any groups present bad things.

  17. rk Says:

    well, if you hadn’t seen it, why defend it before seeing it? anyway..

    “But still, white people can’t dress like other races? Is that your point?” No. I didn’t make a blanket statement that you can only dress as your own racial group. There’s a difference between “ninja” and “japanese stereotype” though. same with cowboy and stereotype, etc. Those are particular jobs/identities that are associated with a race. Blackface, native american, and indian are all RACES. The costume is the race-change, not the specific identity. that’s the root of the problem. (and when do dance ensembles have samurai slashes? just…nevermind).

    Native americans never rode horses? not my point. But you don’t see the horse and person combined into one costume for the cowboys ever, do you? And headresses and other stereotypical presentations of Native Americans. hooray.

    Onward…the Tomahawk chop is an offensive move to many. See the Chief of the Cherokee Nation’s response to Scott Brown’s staffers. As for the call center, well, combined with the stereotypical clothes (and gangnam style? sigh), it perpetuates a myth of what Indian people wear, do, and mocks them for being exploited. Oh look at the funny guys making light of how the US corporations make use of cheap, exploitable labor elsewhere. If you want to criticize that, maybe criticize the corporations, not the innocent Indian employees taking the best job they can get.

    As for the black face, holy crap yes. Mammy is the single most famous blackface minstrel song. The images all throughout that piece were odes to blackface performances. YES IT WAS F*CKING BLACKFACE. blackface is, in and of itself, horribly offensive. It is never acceptable. period.

    If, in 2013, the Mummers can’t get their act together and not have multiple racist acts, maybe the city should reconsider how lenient it is toward them, from prostitution scandals to racism. They’re getting away with doing a lot of harm.

  18. rk Says:

    umm, we again have the “others are offensive too!” argument. And yes, those are all offensive names and representations and it’d be far better if they changed their names.

  19. Allen Crawford Says:

    Yeah. What would ‘hillbillies’ know about oppression, poverty, and exploitation? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCiVMngILEI

  20. Lovetron Says:

    There are far, far larger and more significant institutions to direct your concern rather than the Mummers. There are huge problems in this city for non-white, non-male citizens. To waste an iota of effort on this one is misplaced. “Blackface” incident aside, the Mummers are an innocuous local tradition that is idiotic and tasteless but fun nonetheless. I have no idea how you can conclude that Mummers promote some racist viewpoint, or represent anything beyond a bunch of drunk dudes who get together and act like morons for 12 hours one day per year.

  21. Chris Flip Says:

    While I appreciated this article, I have a different take. I responded on my blog, Aroundphilly: http://www.aroundphilly.com/blog/2013/01/02/dont-piss-on-tradition-a-note-on-recent-anti-mummer-sentiment/

  22. Milagros Lopez Says:

    I am not claiming to be the voice of any minority group. I just don’t believe it is up to anyone else to come to our rescue(there are plenty of organizations for that). We can defend ourselves. and we have the ability to speak up for ourselves if we feel wronged. I use “our” and “we” not to speak for my ethnic group but I speak in general as a human being. I find it amusing that you assumed otherwise.

    I do not know the background of the mummers parade because I am from New York, but I do know its reputation. I don’t see the mummers parade as inherently racist. And even if it has been in the past, why completely destroy a tradition when it has the potential to change and grow with the city of Philadelphia?

    This country was built on racism and you RK aren’t bent on completely destroying it. You can’t go out destroying everything with a less than idealistic history. The whole point is to learn and change with history, good and bad and move on. Modern racism is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. The more we legitimize perceived racism from harmless actions and words, the more these acts will become legitimately racist.

    The mummers parade has become a silly spectacle full of bad jokes that are no longer funny. The parade is harmless fun for so many people, and the mummers have the right to express themselves.

  23. steveeboy Says:

    “you don’t see the horse and person combined into one costume for the cowboys ever, do you?” umm, REALLY? Pretty sure if we look at any cowboy themed mummer performance we are going to see this since it is pretty much the only way you can pull it off for person/dancer. Not really sure what you are offended by here. No way you can really play an instrument, dance, and do “mummery” without combining bodies and animals. MANY of them use this technique and I think you really go off the deep end with that one…
    and hey, what about african american mardi gras indians? are those okay or are those offensive?

  24. steveeboy Says:

    Here’s an experiment, around 2:08… are we offended by this? or do they get a pass because they are hipster darlings??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIXUgtNC4Kc

  25. Milagros Lopez Says:

    If dressing up in a ridiculous costume, acting like a fool, cheesy routines and parading around while being visibly inhibriated is part of your “ethnic minority’s” traditions, culture and identity. than I am truly sorry the Mummers have offended your people so deeply and taken away your ability to be yourself.

  26. rk Says:

    If you feel comfortable speaking in general as a human being, why can’t a white person be offended by racism as well?

    The Mummers have been decades behind. When do we stop giving them a pass and hoping they can “change and grow with the city of Philadelphia?” It’s 2013 and they still had blackface and other offensive characters in multiple groups! When do we stop giving white people a chance to learn from their ignorance and just say “No. No more of this bullshit.” I say that about our city, state, and country all the damn time. And do more to change that than once a year spending some time on philebrity explaining why i find this parade objectionable and offensive.

    The more we look past perceived (actual) racism, the more racism gets accepted in our society’s day-to-day lives. The more we dehumanize people in a joke or on a parade, the easier it is for cops to profile, for employers to justify statistical discrimination, and for residential segregation be justified in the name of “just looking for a better school district.”

    The bue collar unions Joey mentioned have recently been called out for being some of the worst offenders re: employment segregation, much like many unions in the past. There’s a lot more than harmless, silly jokes.

  27. NateFried Says:

    OK. I’ll agree with the blackface. I looked at it closer. That’s no good. The mummers should be better at watching that. That doesn’t mean, however, that the mummers should be shut down because it doesn’t represent what Philadelphia is today. They just need to be yelled at and measures put in place to stop racially offensive skits.

    I see nothing wrong with the Indian call centers. I have a ton of Indian friends (yes, Im using that argument), and they have given me traditional indian clothing to wear in the past for their holidays. I even danced a traditional dance on stage with them before dressed in exactly what they were wearing at the Mummer’s parade! There is nothing wrong with it.

    I just read the Cherokee Chief statement and watched the video. I still don’t get why performing a tamahawk chop action with your arm is offensive (probably wont get it because I am white as per south park), but in the video… they are doing it to mock the candidate’s native american heritage. In the mummer’s, it is just a dance move to try to introduce what the creators thought were identifiable movements with Native American culture. Tamahawks existed and were used often in that culture. Please… explain it to me. If you mock a native american by using that movement, its wrong and I understand that… but why is it wrong to use it as an identifiable aspect of their culture? Not trying to be a dick… just trying to open up conversation.

    And why would a samarii not slash a sword if he was in a dance ensemble?

    I’m still very confused why you find it offensive that native american costumes don’t come with their horses unattached… Cowboy costumes don’t come with horses attached?

    Take a look…

    http://www.thegreenhead.com/imgs/inflatable-cowboy-horse-costume-2.jpg

    I can see the point that dressing up as a “race” is wrong, whereas dressing up as a “thing” is fine. Right on. Never thought of it that way. Still, I don’t see anything wrong with dressing up in traditional clothing (and actually still worn today) of an Indian or trying to dress up as acurately as possible with a low budget in traditional clothing of obscure native american tribes.

    BUT, if you wanna complain about dressing in “probably not too accurate native american clothing”, go ahead and forward your complaints to party city.

    http://www.partycity.com/product/native+american+costume.do

  28. rk Says:

    So where are they here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SSwHRWr8ik ?!?!

    or what about here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCf7fzvvK6w

    or here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UStJMjuEHOo

    but please, continue nit-picking my arguments instead of considering their larger point.

  29. steveeboy Says:

    “hillbilly is bad, but it doesn’t evoke a racial history of hatred and violence and denial of humanity”

    oh I see.

    try this:

    “hillbilly is bad, because it evokes a classist history of hatred and violence and denial of humanity”

    seems like somebody missed that portion of the seminar…

  30. rk Says:

    “They just need to be yelled at and measures put in place to stop racially offensive skits.”

    When the fuck is that all that’s asked for from BLACKFACE PERFORMANCES ON A PARADE! why do they get a 50-billionth chance to get it right? it’s been outlaws for 50 years and they still do it!

    “I even danced a traditional dance on stage with them…” note the last two words in that phrase. Those words are very absent from the mummers parade. different beast entirely.

    the “tomahawk chop action” argues that’s a representation of native american dance. Except, it isn’t. This is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hts6yq9_Yq8

    The tomahawk chop (outside of actually chopping with a tomahawk) is a motion created by white fans of sports teams to root for offensively named sports teams. It isn’t an identifiable aspect of their culture. And that’s the problem–it’s what we think is cultural because it’s so engrained. A samurai “slash” in a dance ensemble would be a dance interpretation of that move as part of a larger dance. it’s a weird comparison and it’s one that’s too vague–it could be offensive or not. the tomahawk chop IS.

    And yes, party city is awful. but, party city isn’t representing and getting supported by my city. This is.

  31. NateFried Says:

    Yes… the black face is pretty bad. I’d like to hear what they are saying about that. What their intended idea was. Can’t find it online anywhere.

    But everything else… come on man. Nothing else in that parade was bad. Only this one troup.

    The problem, as Milagros mentioned, is that once you start calling one thing racist… everyone starts picking up on every little thing that could be considered racist. In the end, you have a ton of people starting to claim everything as racist just as you have done here… bringing attention to racial differences.

    Call the crime on the obvious and offensive problems, but leave the rest down below. Doing anything else only thickens the divide.

  32. rk Says:

    I’m talking about a racially dehumanizing situation. White people aren’t dehumanized by their race when hillbillies are mocked. all black/indian/native american people are being dehumanized by those actions. One is based on race, one is based on economic situation.

    And yes, hillbilly mocking can/is very problematic because it obscures the reality of rural white poverty. nobody pointed out the hillbilly themes, and i don’t watch the mummers unless pointed towards them. I’m able to be disappointed in things mocking hillbillies as insensitive too.

    But I’m, personally, more angered by racial dehumaniziation because of what that’s done to whole peoples and how that logic continues to divide and weaken our world. But that’s not to say being offended by the hillbilly skits is wrong, only to explain why I’m more offended and angered by racial representations.

  33. NateFried Says:

    Dressing as another culture… dressing poorly as another culture… trying to integrate something from another culture into a small part of a dance movement… it is not racist. That’s my final point. Which is against your root point.

    Black face… is racist.

    Insulting another culture by doing something ANYTHING they do… but making fun of them for it… IS bad.

    Argue that the string band having blackface (regardless of its intended usage or depiction) is fine. But calling white people racist for trying to dress like Native Americans or Indians and not getting the exact traditional everything in their costumes and dances moves is wrong.

    To shut down the Mummer’s parade for this is silly. To claim the mummer’s day parade doesn’t represent philadelphia history, culture, and today’s Philadelphians just because you don’t like it is silly. It’s a tradition and I’m happy it is here in Philly.

    Enjoy your day good sir. This will be a never ending roundabout argument.

  34. NateFried Says:

    Lastly… Why should we BAN and STOP a fraternity because one frat was a shit head. What we do is ban the specific frat, not the institution. Why stop the Mummers for this? Instead, we should ban the troupe who did the performance, then increase the policing efforts.

    As for my comparison of a tamahawk chop movement in a dance to a samarii sword dance? er… why again is that not a good comparison? Tamahawks are used to fight. Swords are used to fight. I guess its insulting when a tamahawk is used to portray ALL native americans and not just the warriors? Just as a sword would be offensive to portray ALL japanese and not just sammarii? I could see that… but still, I don’t think people would freak out if someone dressed in semi-traditional japanese clothing did a sword swipe in a dance. They would say… “OH! Japanese fighters use swords, so I geuss that movement is a reference to japanese fighters.”

  35. steveeboy Says:

    Well, while I am not in disagreement about the implications of the minstrel
    “tribute” and find that problematic–but not nearly as bad as the rastas, I find much of your argument about native americans to be
    bogus. The horse part represents some of your weakest thinking and you
    need to beef that part up. So, I think you–as the person who has decided to be the voice of outrage for native americans and african americans–should explain exactly why you take offense at the use of the horse/human combo costume given the fact that it seems like a logical solution for the need to walk/dance/play an instrument in the parade. 99.9% sure I have seen similar costuming in the past for depictions of all races/ethnicities–including “white.”

  36. NateFried Says:

    NO! THIS IS CRAZY! A NATIVE AMERICAN RIDING A HORSE! I AM OUTRAGED!!!!! WHATS NEXT? A GERMAN PERSON RIDING A CAR THAT IS NOT SEPARATE FROM HIS MAIN COSTUME! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  37. Allan Smithee Says:

    re: I’m sorry but some white hipster cannot be the voice of a minority group. Why are YOU so incredibly offended by this tradition? I am a black hispanic female and I do not find any of it offensive.

    That’s because we hear them call you a “black puta” behing your back and think it is wrong.

  38. Christian Dayton Osgood Says:

    How about having some actual African or Native Americans demonstrating their cultural traditions instead of dumb white guy (hey I can generalize too) interpretations of what that would be. And what’s with all the hipster bashing? We put our jeans on one skinny leg at a time like everyone else. P.S. – Die Antwoord sucks.

  39. rk Says:

    Well, I’m glad you decided my argument isn’t good enough. now I’m convinced.

    The horse/human combo was one of about 5 things I’ve pointed out. If you don’t like it, stick to the tomahawk chop or the headresses. Unless there’s a minimum number of offensive aspects to a performance. I thought the horse/human combo was bizarre, so i pointed it out. *shrug*

  40. rk Says:

    You do realize that all I’d have to do is look back to maybe 2005 and at least half of the mummers groups would be banned for doing something similar to ferko, right?

  41. rk Says:

    What if there should be more attention to racial differences because racial differences still matter greatly and impact many, many people in negative ways? What happens to your point then? because that’s what I believe–and if you really want the stats, I could get those easily enough too.

  42. roma258 Says:

    I would love to have the whole “gentrification is the real racism/classism” thing explained to me.

  43. rk Says:

    Samurai is a specific warrior type from Japan. These were just “native americans.” the analogy already fails, as you note. Japanese Americans weren’t rounded up and slaughtered and forced to migrate due to being considered “savages” like Native Americans. there again, the analogy falls flat. Japanese people aren’t still, to this day, living on reservations as a result of that history.

  44. steveeboy Says:

    really? How on earth does one support that claim? been here 10 years and unlike you I watch mummers every year and every year there are Indian, Latin, Asian, Italian, irish, polish and tons of of other groups depicted/mocked in costume. do only native Americans and African Americans provoke the white liberal guilt pc outrage? again… seems pretty clear they weren’t engaged in a mockery of black people. They were matching props and costumes to the music they wanted to play. they even changed some of the iconography so that it was “white.” I prefer to withold judgement til an actual black person or native american makes a comment. your pseudo academic analysis ain’t really cutting it.

  45. Allen Crawford Says:

    I wanna see a troop do a sendup of the urban hillbillies of Kensington. They can dress up in jorts and wifebeaters and ballcaps, maybe neck tattoos. Maybe have a couple guys done up as dancing cartons of Arctic Splash, or maybe in drag as obese young moms in pajamas pushing strollers.

  46. rk Says:

    Well, quite simply, yes. Yes, Native American and Black Americans provoke more outrage than polish, irish, and “tons of other groups” (not so much more outrage than Asian and Latin) do i really have to explain that to you? Really?

    As for the argument that it was not a mockery but rather an homage to Jolson. Not engaging in a mockery and still recreating tons of Sambo faces, having the word “minstrel” written on your backdrop (and the title “bringing back those minstrel days” as though that’s to be celebrated!), and using some aspects of blackface makeup–but at least not the coal!–nah, that’s not good enough. You could have paid homage to Al Jolson in a way that wasn’t racially insensitive (and to sing one line about mammy…eek). And knowing you should tone it down racially (“changed some of the iconography so it was “white”) means you knew there was something wrong and went ahead anyway.

    Oh, and thanks for making me watch the whole performance. I hadn’t even seen the huge sambo faces at the end. my god.

    How do I support that claim? Well, there’s the yearly exercise here for some evidence, the nearly yearly email I get from a friend who isn’t in philly saying “wtf is this shit?” and forwarding a youtube to me from that year’s mummer’s parade. There’s also the quick perusal of youtube and the 10-20 minutes a year in which I do watch the mummers because new year’s day TV sucks and I watch for a while and then there’s someting offensive and I turn it off and try to remind future me not to even bother looking.

    I’ll refrain from laughing at the “psuedo academic analysis” line, as you don’t know me and don’t know why that’s so funny.

  47. steveeboy Says:

    let’s just hope that if you are an academic-pseudo or not-you do a better job with the “Holy Trinity” in class than you have here…

  48. rk Says:

    yes. how i comment on a blog = how i teach. awesome logic. now that we’ve gone full ad hominem, i’m pretty much done here.

  49. Erica Matos Says:

    I apologize if you were unable to grasp the analogous
    situation I posed. Let me break it down for you, darlin’.

    Me Offended By Insensitive Racial Stereotypes::Kyle M Offended
    By Insensitive Stereotypes of Working Class White Guys.

    Both equally valid reasons for offense.

    I hope that clears it up. I’m honestly sorry you’re having
    such a hard time grasping the idea that racist stereotyping of people is dehumanizing in that it superimposes a false image onto them–making one nothing more than a character in a minstrel show, for example—and promotes that false image to the greater public. All these things reduce someone to being less than what they actually are I.E. TAKE AWAY THEIR HUMANITY AND FREEDOM TO
    BE THEMSELVES. If you can’t understand that, then my culture is not the one you should be pitying.

  50. M'ris Says:

    I’m excited to see next year’s “tongue in cheek” nazis.

  51. M'ris Says:

    Why the tomahawk chop is offensive, a history lesson breakdown:

    Item: Native Americans did not have iron smelting technology til contact was made with Europeans/the white man. Before that, tomahawk-style axes were made with sharpened stones or bones, which led to use that could more accurately be called “crushing” than “cutting.” Chopping, as portrayed by the “tomahawk chop,” wasn’t a primary function of this tool.

    Item: Symbolically, the action is not meant to docilely represent the chopping of wood, or even of game, but rather represent a Native American scalping a victim. In reality, scalping was practiced by only a few tribes – to say that the practice was common of all tribes would be sort’ve like saying that all Philadelphians have thrown snowballs at Santa. (It should also be noted that native americans are not the only culture that has scalped. Good ole Americans were scalping each other as war trophies up through the Civil War.)

    Item: The “tomahawk chop,” as we know it, is not some sort of native american ritual that we (and by we, I mean popular culture) have co-opted. It was made up by fans of the Florida Seminoles.

    So. A gesture that was made up by and popularized by a bunch of (predominately white) football fans, promoting/glorifying a vicious act that rarely happened, by poorly appropriating an indigenous tool. I wouldn’t call it textbook racism, but “making stuff up to perpetuate a falsehood and calling it honor” certainly isn’t flattering or helping anyone.

    To reference your point about samurai swords slashing during a dance, there’s a difference between ceremonial use of an object, as appropriated from the culture itself (I’m not going to bore anyone here with a history of Kabuki theatre or katana swordsmanship), and stuff people are just plumb making up.

  52. Lovetron Says:

    When in doubt, invoke Nazis. Yeah, because it is even close to the same thing.

  53. NateFried Says:

    OK. History lesson well received. Thank you for that. I can definitely see why this movement could be offensive.

    I think the argument began to get away from the central point. Were the performances racist, belligerent, and awful enough to validate the complete hatred and desire to ban the Mummer Parade.

    In terms of the Native American skit… I don’t think any movements or costumes were deliberately or foolishly racist… perhaps inaccurate and offensive, but not in poor spirits or ridicule, hate, bigotry, intolerance, or racism. Because of this, I don’t find Philebrity’s fodder for their complete ousting of an entire tradition to have any validity.

    The second one… the “black face”. While the song may scream relation to the black face era and time (i am unfamiliar with this), it is still a well known song that is played by many a string band throughout the country. I watched it again on my large tv, and had a friend of mine who has studied black face. He does not think this is intentional or accident racism by portrayal of black face. There were at least 4 or 5 different colors for faces. The only resemblance to black face is large clown-like painting around the lips. In fact, the large cut out reminded me of a Hobo more than anything. Again… deliberate or accident racism enough to ban and hate the mummer’s parade? I do not think so.

    But others will have a different viewpoint of this, and I believe if they do, they should reflect their anger, hatred, and annoyance at the individual group… not the body at large. Because… really… racism is bred on intolerance and hatred of the larger body for the mistakes of the few. Even if the mistakes made two days ago are big enough to be offended and angered, it is the few of the many. HATE is an awful thing to carry.

    I, for one, will not tolerate and accept the bigotry displayed and spread toward Mummers. For this is the EXACT type of mind-set that you, yourself Philebrity, are fighting against.

  54. Butwhatifido Says:

    I’d say they get a pass because they are from South Africa and their whole deal is pushing the racial issues in that country – which are very different than here. They pretend to be white super-hillbillies which offends many whites there too. That band sometimes make me uncomfortable but it’s a totally different conversation than this one. I moved to philly in 1999 and was so excited to see the parade based on all the buzz from natives. I was literally sickened and shocked (not knowing what to expect) and have been baffled ever since by philly’s continued acceptance of it. I’m NOT a hipster BTW…

  55. Lovetron Says:

    Is this a serious comment? When urban homsteaders colonize a neighborhood because of cheap housing, they create a circumstance where housing values creep up. That “creep up” leads to increasing rents for low-income people, who eventually become unable to afford their rents, since low-income people are often unable to secure money for mortgages. Those low-income people have to move to other neighborhoods where their dollars go further, while urban homesteaders build coffee shops and other amenities that create a cycle of upward housing value.

    I’m all about development and redevelopment in Philly. But let’s not pretend that redevelopment doesn’t have losers, too. Those losers are disproportionately non-white and with far less mobility to live in a neighborhood of their choice.

  56. Chuck Says:

    Hopefully we can get to the point where we no longer have to look at mummers pissing on buildings on New Year’s Day and get to the more civilized point where hipsters are the only ones we allow to piss all over our city.

  57. rk Says:

    the real racism/classism is the malign neglect of those neighborhoods by banking institutions and the white flight out of them that caused the segregation and inequality.

    To call gentrification the “real racism” is to whitewash over that history of true, overt, blatant racism (that is still happening far more than gentrification is). Kinda like saying the Mummers wearing blackface were an isolated “incident.”

  58. Lovetron Says:

    Actually, it is not like it at all.

  59. mike Says:

    How do you describe the following actors (one who won an academy award) in terms of how they lived their life and made a career out of what they did?

    http://www.black-face.com/blackface-actors.htm

  60. rk Says:

    they’re equally ahistorical and inaccurate understandings of racism. *shrug*

  61. Lovetron Says:

    Wow. I know the blackface thing has you all thrown off but let’s be absolutely clear here. Of course poor lending policy has created unacceptable situations for the urban poor and semi-poor. But that’s a structural problem way beyond the scope of this discussion. This discussion is about how gentrification creates a losing circumstance for poor people.

    And no one is condoning the blackface thing so stop with that.

  62. Tayyib Smith Says:

    “Still no shootings or rapes” I love “you people” wow

  63. rk Says:

    you should talk to the guy who talked to his friend about blackface, then. and yourself when you pass it off as “tongue-in-cheek.” my god.

    gentrification is a symptom of that structure you reference. To criticize the gentrifiers and only them (as you did) for being part of a cycle that begins with white flight and is structured entirely by white economic advantages and racial fears is just inaccurate and obscures the real problems. So instead we weep for the loss of Point Breeze’s or Kensington’s authenticity instead of promoting a social justice platform focused on ensuring we don’t recreate that type of race and class ghettoization in response to gentrification.

    So, in short. yes, gentrification has clear losers. and yes, those losers are the urban poor and working class. but gentrification is not the “real racism” insofar as blackface somehow isn’t racist or that white flight and segregation aren’t still actively happening (and more frequently than gentrification) is inaccurate and myopic. Gentrification is the new way whites are hoarding economic benefits of real estate. But it only exists because white flight still is so powerful. I’d rather a city with a problem of managing gentrification (a problem philly’s doing a piss poor job of dealing with) than a bunch of segregated bedroom suburbs.

  64. Lovetron Says:

    Yes, but this city has a gentrification problem, not a blackface problem.

    The point of this entire discussion is that the Mummery is fundamentally racist. My view is that Mummery isn’t fundamentally racist but that there are circumstances where idiots act stupidly. The redface/blackface thing was clearly a failed attempt at social satire that veered off course by people that may or may not know better. But to denigrate the entirety of Mummery because of the redface/blackface thing is wrong for countless reasons.

    Mummers don’t need a lesson in race and class bias from a website that celebrates gentrification and hipsterdom. There’s a more immediate peril for the non-white and the non-wealthy posed by hipsters and urban homesteaders than there is in a Mummery routine.

    I agree with your overall point but it is out of context to what we are talking about here.

  65. rk Says:

    I’m comfortable saying that anyone who uses blackface needs a lesson in race and class bias from whomever is willing to give that lesson.

    (and here we go again with the whole “my problem is worse than yours” tirade as though one can’t criticize both racist representations of non-white people AND the ill effects of gentrification…

    Your whole point about gentrification is out of context for this post, which was to say that Mummery has a racist past, continues, either out of ignorance or consciously, to use racist symbols and parade them down Broad Street and it’s time that end. No more racist images. It’s pretty simple.

  66. Lovetron Says:

    I have no idea what your point is. There’s no one here that’s OK with the blackface as much as you don’t believe it. Just repeating it over and over doesn’t make it true.

  67. Colin Pate Says:

    most of the arguments: “Mummers Parade isn’t bad because of these other unrelated things that I know nothing about but I’ve been told should outrage me”. The Mummers Parade is probably the least of the city’s problems, but it was, until recently, funded in large part by the city. I’m willing to bet a lot of public money is still funneled into the organization secretively (sidebar: are the Mummers a tax-free organization? That would also pose a problem. Anyone want to look into this?) Even if not, the city promotes the parade as a major cultural face of Philadelphia. If the Mummers Parade is in any way racially insensitive, then this relationship is inappropriate. These aspects of the story should prompt the most outrage. All these reductive and distracting cries of hipsters and gentrification (as if hipsters–an unquantifiable group if there ever was one–provide the main and only thrust for gentrification) contribute nothing to this discussion. But just to offer my two cents: gentrification is sometimes painful for longtime residents. So many of the commenters above assume gentrifiers push out longtime residents. You could also assume that many longtime residents own their homes. What about these residents, who see their property values double and triple in the wake of gentrification? Are they complaining? Aren’t they the ones who benefit the most?

  68. Lovetron Says:

    BTW, to further simplify, people (like the author of the original article) that represent viewpoints that create hardships for the City’s poor and non-white communities have no credibility to criticize others for creating hardships for our City’s poor and non-white communities. Your argument would make sense if this was MotherJones.com but it isn’t. To further clarify with an admittedly outrageous and ridiculous comparison, I’m told that the Westboro Baptist Church has some views not to dissimilar from mine about the non-role given to women in the Catholic Church. But most would dismiss any comment from them out-of-hand.

  69. M'ris Says:

    Well, yeah. It is. I didn’t erroneously invoke Godwin’s Law, here, I simply took racial stereotypes and offensive tropes to their logical extreme.

    (I suppose for a more accurate comparison, I could’ve used Der Struemer, but I don’t think the average Philebrity reader is particularly well versed in German propaganda.)

  70. Tim McCloskey Says:

    It says it right on your link: “Famous Black actors whose personas were derived from racist blackface stereotypes.”

  71. Bill McCay Says:

    “Minstrelery” in deed. Performers wearing black face make up is a critical part of American entertainment history. As a whole, the mummers parade forbids performers to wear black face make up. In fact, if you are even considering using a FULL black face, you must support your plea by showing WHY you are using it. I can not believe the over sensitivity to this topic. There wasn’t a single member of Ferko wearing black face make up. As for the Mummers – of which I am a member of a competing band – I applaud Ferko’s performance. They produced a 4 minute show that was rich in history, music and visual creativity… For the Entertainment of the People.
    Perhaps you should create a round of Quizzo about the impact that AL Jolson had on the History of Entertainment.

  72. Heller Bo Says:

    Dont you have anything better to do ,Then to Talk about something you no nothing about?

  73. Bill Hersh Says:

    Do you really think they were trying to be Racist? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_EDvOd0nEQ
    The only think Ferko is guilty of is trying to tell a story about an era in our American history. Unlike your piece of shit story written for one purpose to cause controversy and infuriate people. The Mummers are about Tradition, telling stories and having a fun time. Something you are incapable of doing. Get the
    facts about the Mummers before you publish this trash. You Ignorant Fuck.

    P.S. I think that’s
    me urinating on that building, see when you strut with 850 people and there are
    2 porta potty every 3 block this is what happens.

  74. John D Says:

    So two groups do something offensive and the whole parade needs to be scrapped. And you’re sure two street is ablaze with n-bombs and f-bombs. Who’s doing the stereotyping now? Maybe if you ever left the comfortable confines of cafes and hipster bars you spend all of you time in, and actually interacted with some of the working class natives of this city, you’d see that there are many intelligent and tolerant people in places like 2 St. But I guess it’s just easier to sit at a coffee house and be a snarky a-hole.

  75. Ian Curtin Says:

    ahahahahaha

  76. Ian Curtin Says:

    ahahahahaha

  77. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  78. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  79. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  80. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  81. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  82. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  83. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  84. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  85. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  86. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  87. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  88. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  89. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  90. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  91. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  92. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  93. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  94. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  95. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  96. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  97. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  98. Colleen M Says:

    rather than end this tradition, I wish we used it as an opportunity to educate and support the broader Philadelphia community.

    let the mummers explain their themes to the public either by providing better information to broadcasters or by conducting closing interviews with the club leaders. underlying many presentations were some powerful messages about unemployment, respect for veterans, and the struggle and grief of losing loved ones to cancer treatment. also, preparing to explain the work may allow club leaders to recognize the stereotypes and either remove or amend them, or own them publicly and accept any fall out that results.

    also, it would be great to see the mummers work with broader sections of the community, making the parade fuller and more representative. how about bringing an arts education program to our public schools? training kids in the technique of playing string instruments? or including existing drumlines and marching bands from local area schools in the parade?

    mummery should continue to be a proud Philadelphian tradition. it began with the working class marching up to City Hall and essentially thumbing their noses at local government, bringing up issues that the city failed to address. why not revive that political element? why not present themes that are provocative in a constructive way? i didn’t catch the full parade, but i didn’t notice any comments on the gun violence that plagues our city…

    protecting free speech and free expression does not mean we should rally to silence the views we don’t agree with, rather it requires us to actively participate in our democracy and to voice our own opinions. i missed the ferko string band’s performance, but i was offended by the call center routine. i agree that we as a City need to consider our reputation nationally and globally, however i think it is cowardly and ineffective to simply call for shutting down the parade.

    starting this dialogue is a good first step, but lets move the outrage into action and do something about it. support the mummers that do represent you – there is a lot of time, money and discipline spent on practicing and performing as well as designing and purchasing equipment for parades. i’m sure financial support and encouragement to the groups that are inclusive and positive could have a greater impact on reducing bigotry than shutting down a tradition entirely.

  99. Marlon F Says:

    Minstrel shows and music played a huge part in shaping American popular
    culture. Though most people immediately think of white performers in
    blackface, black minstrelsy performed by African-American entertainers
    was popular and influential. In the first few decades of the twentieth
    century black performers from the minstrel stage like Ernest Hogan and
    Bert Williams were huge stars. These men actually did put burnt cork on
    their face to darken their skin and perform in blackface. Classic blues
    stars like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey shared these stages and developed
    their reputation with touring minstrel shows. We usually think of
    country blues (singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Charley Patton) as a
    departure from this kind of entertainment. But the influence of
    minstrelsy on country blues performers is clearly presen

  100. Marlon F Says:

    Minstrel shows and music played a huge part in shaping American popular
    culture. Though most people immediately think of white performers in
    blackface, black minstrelsy performed by African-American entertainers
    was popular and influential. In the first few decades of the twentieth
    century black performers from the minstrel stage like Ernest Hogan and
    Bert Williams were huge stars. These men actually did put burnt cork on
    their face to darken their skin and perform in blackface. Classic blues
    stars like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey shared these stages and developed
    their reputation with touring minstrel shows. We usually think of
    country blues (singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Charley Patton) as a
    departure from this kind of entertainment. But the influence of
    minstrelsy on country blues performers is clearly presen

  101. Marlon F Says:

    Minstrel shows and music played a huge part in shaping American popular
    culture. Though most people immediately think of white performers in
    blackface, black minstrelsy performed by African-American entertainers
    was popular and influential. In the first few decades of the twentieth
    century black performers from the minstrel stage like Ernest Hogan and
    Bert Williams were huge stars. These men actually did put burnt cork on
    their face to darken their skin and perform in blackface. Classic blues
    stars like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey shared these stages and developed
    their reputation with touring minstrel shows. We usually think of
    country blues (singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Charley Patton) as a
    departure from this kind of entertainment. But the influence of
    minstrelsy on country blues performers is clearly presen

  102. Marlon F Says:

    Minstrel shows and music played a huge part in shaping American popular
    culture. Though most people immediately think of white performers in
    blackface, black minstrelsy performed by African-American entertainers
    was popular and influential. In the first few decades of the twentieth
    century black performers from the minstrel stage like Ernest Hogan and
    Bert Williams were huge stars. These men actually did put burnt cork on
    their face to darken their skin and perform in blackface. Classic blues
    stars like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey shared these stages and developed
    their reputation with touring minstrel shows. We usually think of
    country blues (singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Charley Patton) as a
    departure from this kind of entertainment. But the influence of
    minstrelsy on country blues performers is clearly presen

  103. Marlon F Says:

    Minstrel shows and music played a huge part in shaping American popular
    culture. Though most people immediately think of white performers in
    blackface, black minstrelsy performed by African-American entertainers
    was popular and influential. In the first few decades of the twentieth
    century black performers from the minstrel stage like Ernest Hogan and
    Bert Williams were huge stars. These men actually did put burnt cork on
    their face to darken their skin and perform in blackface. Classic blues
    stars like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey shared these stages and developed
    their reputation with touring minstrel shows. We usually think of
    country blues (singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Charley Patton) as a
    departure from this kind of entertainment. But the influence of
    minstrelsy on country blues performers is clearly presen

  104. berserker Says:

    I am really sick of white people telling me that the only racism I’m allowed to be mad about is the very worst thing in the whole world. You know what? Hitler was an asshole, the Mummers in blackface were assholes, and you’re an asshole if you think it’s not my right to be pissed off at both of them.

    If even a single person is discouraged from getting drunk, putting on blackface, and marching through my home like it’s his God-given right to treat my part of history like a joke, my effort hasn’t been wasted.

  105. berserker Says:

    I am really sick of white people telling me that the only racism I’m allowed to be mad about is the very worst thing in the whole world. You know what? Hitler was an asshole, the Mummers in blackface were assholes, and you’re an asshole if you think it’s not my right to be pissed off at both of them.

    If even a single person is discouraged from getting drunk, putting on blackface, and marching through my home like it’s his God-given right to treat my part of history like a joke, my effort hasn’t been wasted.

  106. berserker Says:

    I am really sick of white people telling me that the only racism I’m allowed to be mad about is the very worst thing in the whole world. You know what? Hitler was an asshole, the Mummers in blackface were assholes, and you’re an asshole if you think it’s not my right to be pissed off at both of them.

    If even a single person is discouraged from getting drunk, putting on blackface, and marching through my home like it’s his God-given right to treat my part of history like a joke, my effort hasn’t been wasted.

  107. NowMuseumNowYouDon't Says:

    >2013+1
    >Writer Still Thinks Mummer’s Parade is Racist.
    >I sure hope you guys don’t do this. (ISHYGDDT)

  108. nobody Says:

    Actually, you do have to explain why it’s more offensive. Clearly you know nothing of the history of white ethnic groups.

  109. nobody Says:

    Really you’re just full of crap. Drop the overcompensating by swearing and learn some history.

  110. nobody Says:

    Actually, people all over the world were, including Irish people.

    That’s why actually knowing history comes in handy here.

  111. nobody Says:

    The rest of the country? People all over the country who claim to be so tolerant are some of the most closetly racist people around. Get over yourselves.

  112. nobody Says:

    The difference is, unlike you, she’s actually a part of that group. My God you hipsters are entitled.

  113. nobody Says:

    Because it’s not your place, and because you’re a hypocrite.

  114. nobody Says:

    So does class.

  115. nobody Says:

    Gotta love when a white dude is trying to lecture a nonwhite person on racism.

  116. nobody Says:

    Like you don’t?

  117. nobody Says:

    You’re full of crap, and you want to blame everybody but yourselves and your families for the problems low-income people have but you play a major part in it.

    Stop trying to school actual locals on gentrification and classism.

  118. nobody Says:

    Or maybe he’s simply calling you out as the hypocrites that you are.

  119. nobody Says:

    It’s really just sad how far you have to go to justify your hatred of working class Philly people. This article is nothing but pure bullshit, but why should I be surprised at that?

    The next time you talk, act, and dress like people from that background, maybe think about the role you’re playing in mocking their culture as well, you fucking suburban hypocrite.

  120. Hieronymus_Illinensis Says:

    Take anything to its logical extreme and you have hell. If you get to equate the Ferkos to the Nazis, I get to equate you to Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Not that I necessarily want to.

  121. Hieronymus_Illinensis Says:

    There are degrees of everything.

  122. Cuddy Sark Says:

    Uh.. hell-to-the-naww. Don’t send that mummer garbage down here to South Jersey or any part of NJ for that matter. Keep that racist ignorance right where it belongs there in Pennsyltuckey and the city of brotherly hate & stupidity.

  123. Cuddy Sark Says:

    Hmmmm…I don’t think you really know the history of the mummers in Philadelphia. Other ethnic groups have not been invited to participate with the core mummers’ society in the past and are generally discouraged or denied whether as individual members or separate racial groups.

  124. CEF Says:

    Two things.
    1. Joey writes about the Mummers every year, and every year you guys fall for it. I agree with him entirely, of course, but he just stirs the pot and all you Pro-Mummer people circle the calendar to log on to Philebrity so you can see what that little prick said this year. And here we are with 100+ comments, where more than 50% support the Mummers and show just how right Joey is when you open your mouths (type on your keyboard, whatever)

    2. If you need further proof he’s right, refer to the gentleman who made sure to let us know that among the Mummer bi-laws, there’s a rule that says “No complete blackface.” That’s right, someone needed to put a fucking rule in there because it was happening too fucking often. Now tell me this group isn’t founded in the loving embrace of racism.

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